For the past three+ years, the heavyweight division of boxing has been at the mercy of Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Considered the best the division has to offer, fans have been patiently waiting to see who can truly prove they are the best. After years of waiting, are we finally about to find out?
The next few months could very well determine the future of boxing in the heavyweight division, if everything goes according to plan. It all starts with Deontay Wilder.
One of the best strikers in boxing today, Wilder’s (40-0-1) path to the top is the best compared to Fury’s and Joshua’s. He must beat Luis Ortiz in a rematch this Saturday, November 23 inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. After that, a planned Tyson Fury rematch that, if he was to win, would lead him to face the winner of Anthony Joshua v. Andy Ruiz Jr II.
What makes Wilder’s path the easiest? One of the smartest men in boxing, Wilder understands how this game works. While confusing to many, coming back and beating Luis Ortiz following their epic clash in 2018, in which Ortiz almost won, would help Wilder’s ego and his role in the sport.
“Most of the time when you win, especially when you knock him out, other guys are willing to fight him,” Wilder stated to the media. “They see weaknesses. They see kinks in his armor. But Ortiz’s situation, in this case, none of these guys still didn’t want to fight him then and they don’t want to fight him now. So I wanted to give him an opportunity again to prove all doubt about our first fight that we had.”
After the Fury fight, Wilder waited and negotiated as best as he could before Fury suddenly moved to Top Rank. He didn’t make a spectacle of his fight against Dominic Breazeale like Fury has with his other fights, but he also didn’t quite take him lightly like Joshua did against Ruiz. With one punch that shocked the world, however, Wilder proved the games were coming to an end.
Fury had his cute fight against Tom Schwarz but barely beat Otto Wallin. He then joined WWE and is even thinking about MMA, Joshua didn’t take Ruiz seriously and got knocked out by the Mexican fighter. It appears that Joshua is the one set on preparing the table for the main course, even if it is unconventional.
Ortiz (31-1, 2NC) is still a tough challenge for the “Bronze Bomber”, even if he is older now. But if all goes according to plan, a February rematch with Fury is inevitable. Whoever wins the rematch in Saudi Arabia between Ruiz and Joshua in December will have time to prepare for the winner of the supposed February fight. There would be no more delays, and 2020 would have a series of fights the world will be clamoring over.
The great Hannibal Smith always said he loved it when a plan came together. The path is somewhat clear but there are still hurdles in front of it. It is up to Deontay Wilder to create a smooth road for boxing to pass through.